Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
By the time the Chamber of Secrets rolled around, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were already eachother’s worst enemies. So it’s no surprise that when the children of Hogwarts began their training in magical duels, the two wound up crossing wands. As always, Harry winds up getting the better of his foe to the delight of the students present. The students, and the camera man who the director either didn’t notice, or somehow assumed audiences wouldn’t spot. How this unplanned cameo wasn’t defeated by some editing magic is beyond us.
The fact that Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur adventure has aged better than most other special effects-driven films is usually credited to Steven Spielberg’s use of real dinosaur models along with completely CGI creatures. But that decision didn’t come without a few drawbacks. No fan will forget when a pair of raptors pursued the movie’s child stars through the park’s kitchen, but it turns out the dinosaur models were less graceful than their CG versions. Apparently needing a crew member’s hand to help keep their balance.
The Hurt Locker
It isn’t just dinosaurs that can use a hand from an off-screen crew member. In this story of a bomb disposal team deployed during the Iraq War, soldiers on the ground had more to worry about than just explosives. When investigating an enemy-controlled warehouse, someone on the film’s set decided that star Jeremy Renner needed some help moving through a curtain of plastic sheeting, putting his entire hand into frame. Why the shot wasn’t cut a moment sooner is a mystery, meaning it’s entirely possible it was missed altogether.
In a film as massive as Ridley Scott’s Roman epic, audiences are willing to overlook some small mistakes. But the director put that theory to the test, peppering the movie with too many mistakes to count. There’s the crew member who somehow stumbled into a shot as hero Maximus greets a Roman horse, Barbarian extras who decide to take a break in the midst of a fierce battle, an exposed air canister used to flip a chariot in the Roman Coliseum, and the downright awful body padding used to protect one actor from arrows and swords. But nothing beats star Russell Crowe’s famous question, posed after he singlehandedly wiped out multiple opponents (“Are you not entertained?” line). It’s taken as a political statement for those watching the fight, but it was clearly directed at the camera crew visible in a wider shot.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The second chapter of Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy begins with three of the Fellowship stumbling into the land of Rohan, leading to a tense introduction with Eomer (pronounced “A-Oh-meer”), a noble soldier and ally in the rest of the story. An embodiment of honor and dignity, Eomer ends the standoff by giving his new allies horses and sending them on their way. Unfortunately, allowing his entire sword to slide out of its sheath in the process. Clearly too embarrassed to acknowledge the mistake, we can only assume he left as quickly as possible to find a suitable replacement.
Just because animated films are created a single frame at a time, that doesn’t mean mistakes won’t slip by just as easily. One of the most well-known sequences in Disney’s smash success Frozen stars the magical Queen Elsa, embracing her powers with a performance of the award-winning song “Let it Go.” In all the excitement, it seems the artists decided to let the laws of physics go as well, allowing Elsa to let down her hair, and have it pass from front to back, phasing through her left arm in the process. The ability to control ice and snow and create an eternal winter is one thing, but we have to draw the line somewhere.